Since the production in Trollhättan is again we get from saabblog.net daily mails with questions whether one should cancel orders, still order or how it ever goes on in Trollhättan. Okay, we are not Saab Germany, our information comes from Swedish friends and from the Swedish press. We are not sponsored by Saab, nor are we the press office and, since we are “actually” on vacation, cannot answer every single email on this subject. However, we can publish our personal opinion on this topic and think it will be a small decision-making aid.
None of us can say for sure how things will go on with Saab. Also not whether and how production will start again. The situation is confusing, the information partly contradicting itself. If you want to understand how serious the situation is, you should read the one sentence from Volvo boss Stefan Jakoby, who said today to the SvD in Gothenburg “Volvo will not be significantly affected by the closure of Saab”.
The next two to three weeks will sort out the situation in one way or another. We have compiled our answers to the most important questions.
Will Saab go down?
Of course, we think no. There are good reasons for it. The interest in the brand is great, especially in China. Saab is the only European traditional brand that is still for sale. The brand is strong, the fans are loyal, Saab brings with what Chinese brands will never have: A great history, born of aviation, great past in motorsport, a legend of turbo technology and a design icon. The revolutionary Phoenix Platform is ready, the 9-3 follow-up project is quite advanced. That counts, and that can save the brand.
Will Saab change ownership?
The economic reality can be tough. Even if we do not like it, the current Saab management and the ownership structure are likely to make the last rounds according to the current state. The renewed production stop after only 700 produced cars shows it. It lacks the necessary liquidity for production and the funds to finance urgently needed new developments. Not to mention the funds that the brand would need to conquer new markets and bring back old ones.
Even if production could be restarted, the capital base is so thin that every small imponderability would mean another outage. The suppliers are tense, it is unfortunately only a matter of time before the first big creditor loses patience. Whether the Chinese lifeline will still take hold in time - presumably that will not be the case. No wonder, and an enormous rabbit would have to be pulled out of Victor Muller's hat, Saab is facing another restructuring or sale.
Cancel Saab order or not?
If you order a car - you buy it - a car. No more and no less. He doesn't buy Victor Muller or Vladimir Antonov. Anyone who has ordered a new Saab has ordered a very good car. One of the best Saab ever. Every Saab ordered supports the brand and strengthens Trollhättan's position. A reputable investor will be willing to invest in a brand with a certain order backlog, not a brand where customers run away. The next two to three weeks will show where the journey is going. Either there is a solution in the form of a new source of finance, perhaps a very quick decision in China, or Saab changes hands, in the worst case, it goes into restructuring.
Those who are not plagued by tight deadlines with their new purchase, should uphold the order, maybe extend the leasing contract or simply endure the used car a little longer. The wait, as hard as it will be, is worthwhile because the current Saab we drove in recent months were the very best Saab who have come from Sweden for years.
Buy new Saab now or not?
Of course, buying a Saab is always a good idea, the prices of the unfortunately tortured dealers are better than ever, the cars too. However, if you need your Saab in a hurry, you are wrong now. The only thing that helps is to continue driving an old car (which would be good) or order another brand (which would not be so good from Saab's point of view).
Buy Saab Annual Car or Used Car?
The tense situation at Saab does not change the fact that a pre-owned Saab is a very good and individual car. In addition, if it comes directly from the Saab dealer and is well maintained. The supply of spare parts is assured, the offer on the market is relatively small, a price drop is not expected. The fact that Saab has sold minimal quantities in Germany in recent years means that even in the worst case, the prices will not move extremely - because a small supply contrasts with a constantly loyal fan base.
Who is waiting for my Saab in the worst case?
We do not think that the worst case occurs. In recent days we have talked to traders about this nasty topic, which is unavoidable. Our knowledge is not representative, but the old, well-known Saab dealers will continue to provide service and repair as we assess the situation.
Unpredictability of warranty and spare parts?
The Swedish government has pledged all sorts of security to Saab as collateral for the EIB loan. This goes from the real estate through the tools, patents to the lucrative spare parts business. Bad for Saab, the company is gagged by the EIB credit, good for spare parts supply. Because months ago in Sweden the possibility of a Saab bankruptcy was played through. Both the spare parts and the guarantee services will remain and be taken over by a company provided by the Swedish state.